Princes Hill Secondary College


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Names from the Princes Hill School Roll of Honour who were killed on Anzac Day 1915 at Gallipoli


Norman Edward ABERDEEN (Military Medal + Bar)  engineer  KIA 25/4/1915 Gallipoli

Joseph Rupert BALFE medical student  KIA 25/4/1915 Gallipoli

James Prentice CORMACK  public servant  Wounded 25/4/1915 Gallipoli Died 14/6/1915 Alexandria

John Rossiter MELVILLE  painter  KIA 25/4/1915 Gallipoli

Alfred McCOLL  draftsman  Missing 25/4/1915 Gallipoli


The first day


Norman Edward Aberdeen in cadets uniform

Norman Aberdeen was keen. After all, he’d served three years in the senior cadets. When War broke out and recruits were called for to fight for King and Country the nineteen year old apprentice engineer from Station Street, North Carlton was quick to make it to the drill hall and sign up. His regimental number, 75, proves he was one of the early arrivals. He was one of many Princes Hill State School ex-students to “answer the call” promptly. Norman enlisted in the 7th Battalion on the 17th August 1914. On the 18th he was passed medically fit and by the 10th of September he was appointed acting Lance Corporal. Two months later he and his Battalion sailed for Europe on the “Hororata”. The training in Australia was supplemented by further training in Egypt while plans were drawn up for the Dardanelles campaign.

Tragically his war was a short one. Norman Aberdeen was killed on the first day of the landing at Anzac Cove, 25th April 1914. One hundred years ago on Saturday.

Where he fell is not known. He was listed as missing. He may have been blown apart by an artillery shell or his body may have been washed away into the sea. But in the confusion of that awful initial assault, nobody, it seems, recorded what became of him. Sadly for his mother and father in North Carlton he was listed as “missing” until in May 1916 a Court of Enquiry convened “In the Field” in France determined that he had been “killed in action”. A letter was sent to his parents. Any hopes they may have clung to must have died with this news.

The next year his “effects”, a small parcel of his possessions, was returned to his family. Imagine how they must have felt as they unpacked these items, last touched by Norman more than two years before:

3 sketch books, 4 military books, comb, 1 pair gloves, 2 pair cork soles, 3 pair mittens, 9 handkerchiefs, chain, whistle, 5 keys, purse, cards, small note book, negatives, letters.”

Fifty years later, in 1967, the pain of the family grief and their frustration at knowing so little was still evident in these lines written by Norman’s brother, addressed to the officer in charge of army records (sic):

Dear Sir,

I wish to apply for the New Anzac medal of my only Brother whose parents have passed on. My Brother’s name was L Cpl. NORMAN EDWARD ABERDEEN 7 BN.  A.I.F. His regimental number I think was 75 he was reported missing on the day of the landing at Gallipoli + to this day nothing has been heard of him. If I remember rightly he enlisted the first day volunteers was called for. Thanking you

B. L. Aberdeen,          Warragul


Rupert Balfe

(Joseph) Rupert Balfe (b 9 March 1890), the youngest of three boys, attended Princes Hill State School and later attended Melbourne University to study medicine. During his years there he played for the University VFL Football Club. Rupert was quick to enlist and joined the 6th Battalion, one of the first units raised, and became a second lieutenant in the 2nd Brigade.


11 September 1914 - Balfe front and centre in Melbourne University Regiment cap & badge shortly after enlisting in Melbourne

His father was the mayor of Brunswick at the time, and became involved in patriotic causes. His mother also later became president of Brunswick's chapter of the Red Cross Society to help provide for the needs of wounded soldiers. Balfe left Australia for Egypt onboard the Hororato on 19 October 1914, and after several months training was sent into action.


Lieutenant Balfe standing at rear right

He died on the infamous ANZAC Day at Gallipoli, Turkey, at the age of 25. After going ashore as part of the second wave, according to a report by one of his commanding officers, Balfe was killed instantly by a bursting shell just after reaching the beach. One of his corporals reported: “He was leading, and very keen. Two of his party came back and said he was killed, but could not bring his body back. We had to retire that evening.” His was one of six VFL(AFL) footballers killed that day and his name appears on the Princes Hill Roll of Honor below the stairs on the ground floor. Balfe had a strong friendship with Robert Menzies, who was also studying at Melbourne University. Menzies went on to become the Prime Minister of Australia from 1939–1941, 1949–1966. Menzies wrote a poem for the late Balfe which appeared in several newspapers on 16 July 1915. "In Memoriam Lieut. J.R. Balfe, Killed in Action, Gallipoli, July 1915:

His was the call that came from far away –
An Empire's message flashing o'er the sea –
The call to arms! The blood of chivalry
Pulsed quicker in his veins; he could not stay!
Let others wait; for him the glorious day
Of tyrants humbled and a world set free
Had dawned in clouds and thunder; with a glee
Born not of insensate madness for the fray,
But rather of a spirit noble, brave,
And kindled by a heart that wept at wrong,
He went. The storms of battle round him rave
And screaming fury o'er him chants its song,
Sleep, gallant soul! Though gone thy living breath,
Thou liv'st for aye, for thou has conquered death!"
Training in Egypt, Rupert Balfe is standing in the front row closest to camera


Intermediate Boys' Tennis Champions

Congratulations to the PHSC Middle School Boys' tennis team: Almosh Tompa-Pinter, Chris Dossis, Peter Hill (c) and Marcus Torosidis (left to right as pictured). They are now the 2015 School Sport Victoria Northern Metropolitan Region Intermediate Boys' Tennis Champions. What makes this all the more impressive is that all team members are all still in Year 9. Plus, they won 21 of their 24 sets. Outstanding! The team ('coached' by Jon Williams) will go to the State finals Friday 22 May.



 2016 Year 7 Student Enrolments

Please find below information about: 1) school tours, 2) Information sessions, 3) enrolment information and timeline. 

Princes Hill Secondary College warmly invites parents, prospective parents and their children to visit the College on one of the following scheduled Wednesday and Thursday morning tours.

1. School Tours for Grade 6 students wishing to attend Princes Hill Secondary College in 2016 continue Wednesday and Thursday of the first 2 weeks in term 2.  Tours will begin at 9:00am, so if attending, please arrive by 8:50am. As these tours can fill up, it is important to book through the General Office on (03) 9389 0600.

Term 2

Thursday, April 16
     Wednesday, April 22     
Wednesday, April 29

Please note that these tours are for Grade 6 students and their guardians only. If you want to visit the school but your child is not in grade 6, the Information sessions are scheduled to occur on April 29th.

2. Information Sessions for Year 7 Intake 2016

  • Session 1: Wednesday April 29 at 4pm
  • Session 2: Wednesday April 29  at 7pm

These information sessions will be run on campus in the Theatre.

3. Enrolments 2016

Please click here for detailed information about Year 7 2016 Enrolment at PHSC


ATAR and Destination Data for Year 12 students

Princes Hill Secondary College is proud of the outstanding results achieved by the Yr 12 of 2014. We congratulate students and staff on their efforts, and parents and community for their support during the students’ six years at PHSC. Of all Victorian government secondary schools PHSC has maintained a position in the top 5% of government secondary schools when calculated by median study score and percentage of scores 40-plus(adjusted for schools with less than 20 students at year 12 level). PHSC is one of only two schools that are co-educational, open entry, and without a selective entry program in the top 16 government schools. In addition, PHSC runs a VCAL program to complement its VCE, providing the opportunity for all students to complete Year 12 in a program suited to their needs. PHSC is proud that we are able to offer such an inclusive program.
Of the group who completed a scored VCE (10 students did unscored) 26% achieved an ATAR of 90 or above (the state proportion is approximately 8%*). The top ATAR was 99.45. Four students achieved an ATAR over 99. 46% of students achieved an ATAR of 80 or more64% received an ATAR of 70 or more. The median ATAR for PHSC in 2014 was 79 (state 63.3).

Please click here to read the rest of this letter and to access details ATAR and Destination Data 2008-2014

 Margaret Fry


Humanities Board

This term the Humanities noticeboard seeks to provoke debate about different perspectives on our military history. The 100th anniversary of ANZAC Day links with the Year 9 curriculum later in the year when they study The Great War, also known without irony at the time as 'The war to end all wars'. Year 10s will be studying the Second World War this term and armed conflict is a recurring feature in many VCE subjects including 20th Century History, Revolutions and Global Politics. This display up on Level 3 highlights some of the questions about how we commemorate such conflicts, what we should celebrate about them and who should be included in this celebration?



2015 Top Designs

Congratulations to PHSC student Noah Ellis (Year 12, 2014) on being selected to show his Media production at the 2015 Top Designs exhibition.


Noah's work is a hand drawn, etched and printed graphic novel titled 'Red Star, Black Cross', which "is based on an extract from the memoirs of Anna Timofeeva-Egorova. it details one of the experiences she has as the first woman to fly an IL-2 Sturmovik into action during World War II on the Eastern Front."

Top Designs showcases the work Victoria's best design students. It is held at the Melbourne Museum and runs from 22 March - 16 July 2015.



Philosophy: new discussion group

Mr Camilleri and Ms Ethell have decided, in response to student requests, to run a lunchtime discussion group on topics of philosophical interest, on Tuesday lunchtimes, beginning Term 2, in Room 318 if possible. They will be open to any interested student. We will take alternate weeks and are open to suggestions as to topics to be discussed.

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Boot Camp Images